It’s been over a month since a ball was last kicked in the Irish League or the League of Ireland (LOI) and whilst we are all longing for the day when football returns it has proven a good time to look back on some of our favourite memories of supporting our teams and respective leagues.
The overtheturnstile.uk team have decided to share some of our own highlights and lowlights with you and first up is our Football Manager expert Richard Smyth.
1. Team you support?
2. Favourite current player?
Ryan Morrow. One of the few originals from the promotion winning side who remains with the club, he always puts in a decent performance at right-back and was impressive at left-back the last time I saw him.
3. Favourite all time player?
Michael McCrudden. Second in the goalscoring standings last season despite only playing the first half of the season speaks for itself. He was a true professional and strong captain up until he left, in not the best of terms unfortunately.
4. Most underrated player?
Ryan Morrow. He doesn’t get the game time he deserves but always brings composure to the right-hand side of the pitch. A player who does the small things right but never gets the credit he deserves as he doesn’t score many goals.
5. Favourite manager?
Paddy McLaughlin. Guiding the club through one of its most difficult times off the pitch and to then just miss out on the European Play-offs in the first attempt back in the top flight was a brilliant effort. If he had of stayed for the entire season the play-offs might have been possible.
6. Best moment supporting your team?
Seeing Institute win promotion to the Premiership at the end of the 2017-18 season, after everything that happened off the pitch that season with the flood. The pitch at Wilton Park was surrounded by fans and everyone went onto the pitch to see the team lift the trophy.
7. Worst moment?
The flood of August 2017 was obviously devastating and is still impacting the club today, as current manager Sean O’Connor and former players Eamonn Seydak and Stephen O’Donnell said when I spoke to them for one of my previous articles. Paddy McLaughlin and Michael McCrudden leaving was also not great for the club and we have struggled to deal with these departures since.
8. Which player do you wish had played for your team but did not?
If we are talking players from the Irish Premiership it would have to be Shayne Lavery. An international footballer who is quick and can close down the defenders, he is perfect for Stute’s style of play. If we were talking more general, it would have to be Steven Davis. Probably the most underrated player I have ever seen play and would get into almost any team in the world and not look out of place.
9. Best XI of players you have seen play for your team?
Martin Gallagher, Ryan Morrow, Dean Curry, Stephen O’Donnell, Eamonn Seydak, Aaron Jarvis, Cormac Burke, Jamie McIntyre, Jamie Dunne, Gareth Brown, Michael McCrudden.
I would put Colm McLaughlin, Stephen Curry and Rory Brown on the bench. They deserve to go into the squad.
10. What do you love/miss the most about following your team?
Seeing Institute being the underdogs in almost every match and giving it their all and the passion from the bench showing how much the club means to them.
From all of the team we hope that you and your families and friends are all keeping well and safe and following all the latest medical and government advice.
We plan to be back next week to continue bringing you as much content as we can, we will have another interview, this time with Carrick fan Adrian, and we will also resume our Team of the Teenies which you can all vote for on our Twitter page (@o_t_turnstile). Here is what the team looks like so far and next up we will be looking at our contenders for left wing:-
In the meantime, stay safe!